Chicago P.D.'s Benjamin Levy Aguilar Talks Halstead's Absence And 'Complicated' New Episode For Torres

Chicago P.D. brought back Benjamin Levy Aguilar as a series regular for Season 10, after he made a splash as a guest star in Season 9 as Officer Torres partnered up with Detective Halstead. Following Halstead's game-changing departure last week, Torres is about to get the spotlight on the long-running drama when a shocking murder takes place in his own neighborhood. The new star spoke with CinemaBlend about what’s on the way, including Torres’ place in Intelligence after Halstead left. 

Not only was Torres partnered with Halstead in his Season 9 appearance (available streaming with a Peacock subscription), but Jesse Lee Soffer’s character brought him into Intelligence in Season 10 when they needed his particular set of skills. With “Donde Vives” as the episode airing on October 12, Torres will have to work a very big case without his first mentor on hand. Benjamin Levy Aguilar explained how Halstead’s decision to return to the army affects Torres, saying:

It affects him for sure. [Halstead] was the person that took him in, and those moments where it was hard to be trusted – to trust him, there was this trust issue – just made that relationship more beautiful, when he opened up his heart at the end in Season 9. I definitely think he's going to carry whatever he's learned from Halstead, and he has so much respect for him.

Torres may not have had a ton of time with Intelligence before his big episode on October 12, but a lot of his development came via his interactions with Halstead. The character evidently won’t forget what he learned from the detective during their time in the same unit, and what it meant for Halstead to take him in. Aguilar continued:

It's an interesting dynamic, because he's learning from the other people in the team, and he's creating this respect with each of them as he gets to know them, but also he tests the waters and he keeps to himself. So I think there's definitely a void there. That being said, it's also Voight that helped him, or agreed to take him in and stuff. There's a lot to learn there. But yeah, it's definitely a sad thing.

While all signs point toward the rest of the team welcoming him into their midst (and they haven’t had a new member since Rojas back in Season 7), Torres is coming into a group of cops who have all been working together going back to Season 5, when Tracy Spiridakos joined as a series regular. Between all the existing bonds and the aftermath of Halstead leaving, it’s easy to imagine why Torres might keep to himself somewhat. 

So, what happens when the new guy who can keep to himself finds his personal life involved in an investigation? “Donde Vives” will require Torres to investigate a shocking murder in his own neighborhood, and the promo makes it clear that the stakes are sky-high. Benjamin Levy Aguilar opened up about how tricky the situation will be for Torres as the new man in Intelligence: 

It's definitely so complicated, because he has ties to that neighborhood, and he has friends there that would take a bullet for him, and maybe have taken a bullet for him and vice versa. So him coming back, and trying to dig the skeletons of this story and this murder is gonna rub people the wrong way. It's also going to cause a lot of conflict in the place that one, he has his brothers and his family, and literally his mother. But also, it's a scary thing for someone to now become a cop and know that his mother is living there with people that might want to hurt her, and that's probably the most important relationship of his life. So absolutely a lot of conflict.

Although only the episode will show for sure, Torres seems to be on the verge of learning something that the veterans of Intelligence have all figured out by now: working in this unit can have a negative impact on families. The character explained back in Season 9 that he lives with his mom, so it may backfire if he brings his work home with him. Benjamin Levy Aguilar shared that a “beautiful moment” is on the way between mother and son that gives a window into his personal life:

I'm actually really excited that there's going to be a beautiful moment where it's him and her. I hope that is not a spoiler, but him and her just speaking in Spanish, in their native language, and I don't think I have seen that that much. I'm actually really proud that there's this moment of just two people just speaking in a foreign language on NBC. No Spanglish, but just fluent Spanish, and we get to see more of their culture and their way of being. It's just such a simple, beautiful scene.

Viewers will get to see Torres and his mom speaking in Spanish for what will be a “beautiful scene.” Chicago P.D. does often include phrases of Spanish and – as Aguilar noted – Spanglish, but not full scenes involving a series regular. When I noted that the use of Spanish on network TV is more often here and there rather than full conversations, the actor (who was born and raised in Guatemala) responded:

Exactly, exactly, exactly. That's why I'm so excited about this. I was like, 'Wow, I get to just speak in Spanish!' Which, by the way, I was like, 'Wow, okay, now I know how beautiful it is to act in your own language.' [laughs] I was like, 'That came a lot easier for me!' It was a beautiful experience to have that.

Benjamin Levy Aguilar’s comments about getting to speak Spanish for a primetime NBC TV show actually echo what Chicago Fire’s Joe Minoso said at the end of last season, and suggest that viewers will get to know Torres better by the end of “Donde Vives.” We can just hope that both the cop and his mom are okay by the time that the final credits roll after the case takes place in their neighborhood! 

See what Chicago P.D. has in store for Torres in the next new episode on Wednesday, October 12 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Fire (which recently delivered a major tragedy) at 9 p.m. and Chicago Med (which just escalated a conflict) at 8 p.m. If you’re still mourning the loss of Halstead, you can go on a blast to the past with our picks for Chicago P.D.’s top Upstead moments!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).